Case Title: Jangam Ravinder vs The State of Andra Pradesh
A Division Bench of Justices K Lakshman and K Sujana of Telangana High Court while acquitting a person who is convicted for the offence punishable under section 417, 306 of Indian Penal Code and Sections 3(1)(x), 3(1)(xii), 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Act, held that merely uttering the word “go and die” will not constitute the offence of abetment to suicide.
Justice further said that the word “go and die” itself does not constitute the ingredients of “instigation”.
“Mere uttering the words “go and die” will not constitute the offence under Section 306 of IPC. Even if we accept the prosecution story that the appellant did tell the deceased to “go and die” that itself does not constitute the ingredients of “instigation”. The word “instigate” denotes incitement or urging to do some drastic or inadvisable action or to stimulate or incite presence of mens rea, therefore, is the necessary concomitant of instigation. It is common knowledge that the words uttered in a quarrel or on the spur of the moment cannot be taken to be uttered with mens rea. In the present case also, the prosecution has failed to prove the mens rea, the evidence on record is not sufficient to prove the offences under Sections 306 and 417 of IPC”.
Background of the case:
It was alleged by the prosecution that the deceased had consumed pesticide after the accused (appellant) had refused to marry her. Further it was alleged that the man attempted to rape the deceased, however, when he expressed his willingness to marry the deceased, the case settled.
Since then the accused developed illegal contacts with the deceased and deceived her saying that he will marry her after the marriage of his sister. Later, he fixed his marriage with another woman. On coming to know the same, the deceased along with the complainant, her younger brother went to the house of accused and asked him about the marriage to which the accused replied that he would not marry her and abused them. On the same day the accused came to deceased house and told that his marriage was fixed with another women and he could not marry the deceased as she belongs to Nayakapu caste and asked her to consume poison and die.
After which, the deceased consumed the pesticide poison.
The trail court for the offence under Section 306 IPC sentenced the accused to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment for a period of five years and to pay a fine of Rs.1,000/-, in default of which to undergo Simple Imprisonment for a period of three months. Further, for the offence under Section 417 IPC, he was sentenced to undergo Simple Imprisonment for a period of six months and for the offence under Section 3(2)(v) of SCs and STs (POA) Act, 1989, he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs.500/- and in default of which to undergo Simple Imprisonment for two months.
After which, the appeal was preferred by the accused man before the High Court.
It is noted by the bench that the trial court without discussing the evidence on record came into the conclusion that the appellant man instigated the victim by telling her “go and die”.
“This Court is of the opinion that the evidence on record is not sufficient to convict the appellant/accused as the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond the reasonable doubt”.
The bench further held that the refusal to marry by the accused to the victim could not have been the reason for her suicide as her mother in her cross-examination admitted that the deceased had agreed to marry the other man.
Hence, the bench after considering the evidence on record, acquitted the appellant.